M-Pesa users can now send money or pay for goods and services when they have insufficient balance in their accounts after Safaricom rolled out Fuliza to all subscribers on its mobile money platform over the weekend.
Rollout of the overdraft facility to the firm’s 24. 2 million M-Pesa users follows a successful pilot programme in November last year.
It also comes at a time when M-Pesa and data services helped buoy its half-year net earnings by 20.22 per cent to Ksh31.5 billion ($309.16 million), underlining the importance of capitalising on its mobile money services to grow revenues.
With Fuliza, M-pesa users can now get overdrafts of as high as Ksh50,000 ($500) depending on the value of their transactions through the service that was rolled out on Saturday.
The telco launched the overdraft facility in partnership with lenders Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) and Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA). It attracts a daily charge of 0.5 per cent of the borrowing as a top-up to enable M-Pesa customers complete transactions.
The two banks will use algorithms based on transactions such as M-Pesa deals and airtime use to set a limit on amount which can be accessed by individual customers.
Safaricom had 24,206,341 active subscriptions on its M-Pesa platform at the end of September, according to industry data by the Communications Authority of Kenya.
Fuliza is the latest innovation by the firm as it seeks to leverage on M-Pesa to generate additional revenue for Safaricom.